Mission Awareness Trip
May 10-17, 2008
Just within the last month, we celebrated the April 2008 Mission Awareness Trip to Guatemala, the Latin American Staff Encounter, the Organizational Audit of Project Hermano Pedro and a week’s trip to Chile. I am filled with gratitude and pleased to bring you this news of our May 2008 MAT trip to Guatemala. In spite of the recent loss of his daughter, Renee, sponsor Jerry Menard is here with us. We are inspired by his spirit. On May 15, the Feast of San Isidro Labrador, Father Greg Schaffer offered Holy Mass for Renee, Jerry and their family, with all the sponsors and the elementary school children in attendance.
Search and rescueóCFCA style
When sponsor Laina visited Guatemala in May 2005, her sponsored boy Cesar had dropped out of school—this in spite of a good academic record. As the oldest boy, he had gone off to the capital city in search of work in order to help his family. We struggled to locate Cesar during the MAT and the effort really paid off. Laina and I talked with Cesar and his mother. Laina offered to help his family during these years of schooling. Happily Cesar returned home and went back to school. Cesar will graduate as a young professional accountant later this year. Laina wants to make an Individual Sponsor Visit to attend his graduation.
Touching Mother’s Day story
During our first Sunday morning in Guatemala City, we were deeply touched by the testimonies of a single mother, Mari, her sponsored son Kevin, 11, and little daughter Kimberly, 6.
A few years ago, the family moved to Guatemala City from the countryside. In her poverty, she was able to attend only two grades of elementary school. Mari married young. She found herself facing life alone when the father of the children left and remarried. In the last six months, Kevin had two surgeries to correct herniasóthis with the loving help of his sponsor. He is a confident boy. He offered an emotional dramatization of a poem about his grandmother. Lively Kimberly spoke, too, thanking the sponsors for helping her brother and sadly lamenting the split up of her parents.
When I mentioned to the sponsors that Kimberly was not yet sponsored, it took Jerry Menard about three seconds to step forward and sponsor her. Tomorrow, we will bring Kimberly out to San Lucas to spend the day with Jerry.
Thanks for your solidarity and prayers. Cristina and I now head to Venezuela for another mission awareness trip, then to the Nicaragua Staff Encuentro meeting, followed by a Colombia MAT and then up to Kansas City for our exciting annual gathering. We look forward to seeing each of you. God’s blessings.